Opposition Presidential Candidate Leading in Argentina's Sunday Primaries

14 Août, 2019, 08:40 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Argentina's President and presidential hopeful for the Juntos por el Cambio party Mauricio Macri speaks to the press after voting during the primary elections in Buenos Aires

"We will reverse yesterday's bad result and we will have a closer election" in the October 27 first round, Macri said, flaked by vice presidential candidate Miguel Angel Pichetto.

"I am sure that today we Argentines begin to build a new history", Fernandez said on Sunday.

After an initial tentative move high on Tuesday morning, traders said the market turned and left dollar-denominated bonds down roughly 10 points down across the board, though volume was low.

The primary vote essentially functions as a national poll ahead of the election.

With 88% of polling stations tallied early Monday, official results gave the presidential slate headed by Alberto Fernandez and his vice-presidential running mate, Cristina Fernandez, about 47% of the votes in a primary vote featuring 10 candidates. Meanwhile, Macri and his running mate, Miguel Angel Pichetto, received 32.1% of the vote.

Re-electing Macri would mean seeing through painful cuts in public spending as part of the $57 billion standby agreement he negotiated with the International Monetary Fund previous year.

The Argentine government is trying to contain damage to the economy. Markets were taken by surprise as polls were predicting a tight race; instead, Macri found himself lugging 16 points behind the opposition.

Argentina's 2028-maturing, euro-denominated bond was down nearly 9 cents in European trading on Monday, Tradeweb data showed.

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But it has failed to achieve results with inflation running at 55 per cent.

Fernandez who served as the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers during Nestor Kirchner's presidency vowed to create a "new" Argentina.

Fernandez, regarded as a moderate within the Peronist movement, has said he would seek to "rework" Argentina's $57-billion standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund if he won the general election.

The comprehensive victory by Peronists Fernandez and Kirchner "paves the way for the return to left-wing populism that many investors fear", consultancy Capital Economics said in a note to clients. He also denied having contacts with the Macri administration.

But strangely enough, during the campaign Fernandez said the Argentine Peso was overvalued and its true price was closer to 57/60 Pesos, which is the current quote in the foreign exchange market.

Fernandez blamed the market implosion on government policies. Markets are also anxious over de Kirchner, whose years as president from 2007 to 2015 were marked by a balance of payments crisis, interventionist state policies, currency controls and protectionism.

Duhalde then the boss of the crucial province of Buenos Aires with 37% of the electoral roll, somehow managed to lead Argentina out of the chaos when the 2002/03 default and melting of the economy which contracted over 25%, picked the Kirchners to lead the country.

Will Alberto be able to do something similar with his mentor, the Lady, or will he fall a prisoner of Cristina and her populist inclinations.

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